The importance of being relevant is irrelevant
We’ve all known for a long time that things such as movies, television, magazines and celebrities have left a stain on the confidence of young people today.
We are constantly judging and comparing ourselves to others especially the individuals of some sort of social status. Society has put this pressure on us to be and look a certain way in order to fit in or be of some strange importance. How do I know this? Because it is something I have struggled with my whole teenhood.
I know we have heard this rant a million times over how social media is damaging our young generations but I thought it may be different to hear it from someone who is in such an industry. People may look at my filtered page of carefully picked selfies, motivational workout posts, confidence rants and healthy eating habits then think thats the life! I must always be up, love myself and have my shit together every hour of everyday. I remember, before I got into the work I do now, scrolling through pages on social media and thinking the bodies I was looking at were somewhat achievable and if I got there then I would feel so great about myself all the time just like these chicks do. Society has put this idea in our head that in order to be of some social importance you must have the radest style, the sickest body and the nicest skin Oh and be super duper original.
The more I see, the more I realise that most of these people we all look up to are very insecure, not all but lots. I know personally what I put on my page is all of the good stuff in my life, you see the days were I’m feeling it. But I have personally struggled with a good body image for as long as I can remember. Even a year ago when I was at my smallest I still hated the way I looked, just proving that confidence does not come when you hit your “ideal” size. It comes from within and is something that takes work (a lot).
Wanna know something funny, most of the posts you read on my page about getting motivated, learning to love yourself and living a more holistic lifestyle actually come from me pep talking myself. I constantly compare to others, especially being in the modelling industry! I feel this pressure to look a certain way (partially my body size) but there are certain things we cannot control in life unless we take drastic measures to get there which in that case it is NOT worth it (trust me!). A little over a year ago I did lose a lot of weight thinking it would make me happy. The hardest part is actually coming back from that into a more healthy approach and accepting my body at its natural form. I don’t have shredded abs anymore with a thigh gap and to sit here and say “I totally love myself for it” would be incorrect. Over all I am happy I have changed as I am now reflecting a more healthy maintainable lifestyle but there are many days of course that I feel shit about myself. These days usually come from comparison and I hate to say it but social media trolling.
Things such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat deliver the tools that allow us to earn approval for our appearance and compare that image to others. I mean come on we spend our time posting, commenting on and comparing ourselves to photos. We now even have the power to alter the way in which our bodies look in pictures in a way that’s practically on par with makeup and other beauty products. As I pointed out before, being someone who is an “instagramer” or whatever you wanna call it, I only show the good! When I put up a photo of myself there is usually about 30 others in the camera roll that didn’t make the cut.
I know men can experience body image issues too but studies have shown it is greater amongst woman. I think this has a lot to do with the fact females tend to be more emotionally invested in things and because we bag other females, only making the problem worse. The main reason for this in my opinion is because of our own insecurities. We want to bring others down in order to make us feel better. Usually woman that know themselves in a positive way and are comfortable in their skin have a tendency to uplift others instead of bringing them down. Lets all make a conscious effort to be that girl, its much easier if we are all working together rather than battling it out.
“Okay Kath thank you for spilling out crap we have all heard before but please tell us, what is your point to all this?!” Firstly I need you to know from someone that may look like they “have it all worked out” I do not! Because surprise surprise I am human too. I also struggle with achieving a positive body image everyday, getting use to just accepting where I’m at is hard (especially being a model) but something I try and pep talk myself on everyday. I also wanna give some of my tips that help me work towards a more positive outlook on who I am as a woman.
1. Wake up everyday, walk to a mirror and tell yourself “I are beautiful, I am strong and I are worthy”
This one sounds so silly, I remember a mentor telling me to do this. I was thinking “yeah right mate”. Then when I got desperate, I did it. The first few times I felt like a total dickhead but over time you’ll be surprised how empowering it is. None of us talk to ourselves enough and praise the beautiful, great things we can do (me included). It’s much easier to beat yourself up but in reality that gets you no where. If you do this enough you might actually start to believe it.
2. Find a hobby
Finding activities that you love, not only stimulates the brain but also give you a sense of worth and accomplishment. Feeling like you have things to offer to the world will stop the constant self validation coming from externals things such as the way in which you look or present yourself. I personally do things such as dancing, writing and training. I especially love training as it makes me feel strong and unstoppable.
3. Take a break from the technology
This is so god damn hard! Seriously. Never realised how addicted I was to my phone in until I took it away for a day. I know this one is difficult for people that need technology for work but If thats your case just deactivating things such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat will help you realise there is a world out there full of relationships, beauty and skills. It also stops the mindless strolling, I think we subconsciously do damage to our image of self by doing this. I am the worst at scrolling before I go to bed. When I got rid of my phone for a bit it was so nice to go to sleep on an empty mind instead of this one with images of “hot”, “amazing” and “put together people”. Once you take a break you’ll realise what you’re actually doing to the mind.
4. Follow positivity.
Stop following those accounts because you want to live through them or are obsessing over what they have. If you really think about it there is absolutely no substance in that! Its silly and who’s life are you living anyway?! My rule is I will only follow accounts that inspire me. Wether its art, fashion, fitness or food related. If I’m only following someone because I want what they have and the fact that I don’t or never will makes me feel shitty then I need to get rid of it. This counts for me too ahahah I’m going to shoot myself in the foot here but if my page does this to you then I order you to unfollow me now (I hope it doesn’t though haha).
5. Surround yourself with the right people and be okay alone.
This may actually be a process of elimination. For me during my school years I was constantly second guessing myself. A lot of people my age are obsessed with the way they look, which totally makes sense as I would be lying if I said that I didn’t too. But sometimes these environments can actually be quite toxic. I know this as it was an aspect of what pushed me to want to drastically change the way in which I looked. If you feel worse after hanging out with certain people instead of good chances are they aren’t real friends. A lot of teenagers are fixated on social status, they think if they belong to a certain group they’ve some what “made it” in life. Like I said before “who’s life are you living?!”. At the end of the day you only have yourself, if your trying to fit into a certain category and the people your hanging with are aiding that instead of making you feel as though you are enough in the here and now I think its time to move on or have a constructive conversation with them about it. Popularity will not make you happy, trust me!
This issue isn't going to go away anytime soon so it is important as strong women we find ways early on to deal with these negative thoughts we have around our appearance, actions and lifestyle choices. Lets all work together so we an start loving ourselves and saying hush hush to society.